A novel TFG mutation causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 and impairs TFG function

Pei Chien Tsai, Yen Hua Huang, Yuh Cherng Guo, Hung Ta Wu, Kon Ping Lin, Yu Shuen Tsai, Yi Chu Liao, Yo Tsen Liu, Tze Tze Liu, Lung Sen Kao, Shaw Fang Yet, Ming Ji Fann, Bing Wen Soong, Yi Chung Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe a novel mutation in TRK-fused gene (TFG) as a new cause of dominant axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) identified by exome sequencing and further characterized by in vitro functional studies. Methods: Exome sequencing and linkage analysis were utilized to investigate a large Taiwanese family with a dominantly inherited adult-onset motor and sensory axonal neuropathy in which mutations in common CMT2-implicated genes had been previously excluded. Functional effects of the mutant gene products were investigated in vitro. Results: Exome sequencing of 2 affected individuals in this family revealed a novel heterozygous mutation, c.806G>T (p.Gly269Val), in TFG that perfectly cosegregates with the CMT2 phenotype in all 27 family members. This mutation occurs at an evolutionarily conserved residue and is absent in the 1,140 ethnically matched control chromosomes. Genome-wide linkage study also supported its disease-causative role. Cell transfection studies showed that the TFG p.Gly269Val mutation increased the propensity of TFG proteins to form aggregates, resulting in sequestration of both mutant and wild-type TFG proteins and might thus deplete functional TFG molecules. The secreted Gaussia luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that inhibition of endogenous TFG compromised the protein secretion pathways, which could only be rescued by expressing wildtype TFG but not the p.Gly269Val altered proteins. TFG mutation was not found in 55 additional unrelated patients with CMT2, suggesting its rarity. Conclusion: This study identifies a new cause of dominant CMT2 and highlights the importance of TFG in the protein secretory pathways that are essential for proper functioning of the human peripheral nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-912
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


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